Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

More lava flows reach the coast as volcano threatens Hawaii

More lava flows reach the coast as volcano threatens Hawaii More lava flows reach the coast as volcano threatens Hawaii
Patty Aguilar | 25 May, 2018, 23:32

Some of the pooling lava approached the Puna Geothermal Venture plant earlier this week, where it came within 1,000 feet of underground wells containing toxic hydrogen sulfide gas.

Down on the east flank of the volcano, six fissures re-erupted in lava fountains, as volcanic activity moved west toward Highway 130. Even the smoke rising from the lava appears to take on a red tinge as it plumes into the sky.

The plant has capacity to produce 38 megawatts of electricity, providing roughly one-quarter of the Big Island's daily energy demand.

"One of the first things emergency responders wanted to know was where the lava was coming out - where are all the fissures?"

Laze is an acid steam formed when lava hits the ocean which has been likened to battery acid due to its high toxicity levels and can be lethal. Lava eruption continues in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens from Fissure 22, which is feeding the two other ocean entries.

"Every day we have to wash our cars and wash down the patio because the ash just covers everything", she said over the crowing of four roosters tethered to a chicken coop in the yard. Blasts can toss rocks several feet.

Noni Farms Road is a residential road that lies to the east of the Leilani Estates neighborhood in Pahoa, where the majority of the volcanic activity has been focused. And right now, it's all a lava lake.

More lava flows reach the coast as volcano threatens Hawaii

Blue flames of methane gas escape from a crack near a volcanic fissure from Kilauea in Leilani Estates, on Hawaii's Big Island, on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the volcano belched a plume that reached about 7,000 feet (2,133 metres), scientists said.

The latest concern: The amount of land the eruptions have been covering. Of those, about 4 percent - 2,000 residents - have been forced to evacuate.

Hawaii officials have said they may need to carry out a mass evacuation if lava crosses key highways and isolates communities in the mostly rural part of the island where the Kilauea volcano is erupting.

Sulphur dioxide emissions from active fissures are another serious threat, with the toxic gasses potentially fatal if inhaled.

Kilauea rumbled back to life on May 3 as it began extruding lava and sulfur dioxide emissions through a series of fissures, marking the latest phase of an eruption cycle that has continued almost nonstop for 35 years. Free masks are available to residents, up to three per person, to protect against breathing in the ash. One man was seriously injured after being hit by a flying piece of lava.

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